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The Mikado Method


The Mikado Method is a book written by the creators of this process. It describes a pragmatic, straightforward, and empirical method to plan and perform non-trivial technical improvements on an existing software system. The method has simple rules, but the applicability is vast. As you read, you’ll practice a step-by-step system for identifying the scope and nature of your technical debt, mapping the key dependencies, and determining the safest way to approach the “Mikado”—your goal.

The game “pick-up sticks” is a good metaphor for the Mikado Method. You eliminate “technical debt”—the legacy problems embedded in nearly every software system—by following a set of easy-to-implement rules. You carefully extract each intertwined dependency until you expose the central issue, without collapsing the project.

The Mikado Method presents a pragmatic process to plan and perform nontrivial technical improvements on an existing software system. The book helps you practice a step-by-step system for identifying the scope and nature of your technical debt, mapping the key dependencies, and determining a safe way to approach the “Mikado”—your goal. A natural by-product of this process is the Mikado Graph, a roadmap that reflects deep understanding of how your system works.

This book builds on agile processes such as refactoring, TDD, and rapid feedback. It requires no special hardware or software and can be practiced by both small and large teams.

What’s Inside

  • Understand your technical debt
  • Surface the dependencies in legacy systems
  • Isolate and resolve core concerns while creating minimal disruption
  • Create a roadmap for your changes

Table of Contents
Part 1: The basics of the Mikado Method
Chapter 1. Meet the Mikado Method
Chapter 2. Hello, Mikado Method!
Chapter 3. Goals, graphs, and guidelines
Chapter 4. Organizing your work

Part 2: Principles and patterns for improving software
Chapter 5. Breaking up a monolith
Chapter 6. Emergent design
Chapter 7. Common restructuring patterns

Appendix A. Technical debt
Appendix B. Setting the stage for improvements
Appendix C. Dealing with dynamically typed languages

Book Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (Feburary 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617291218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617291210
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